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'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens is much more than just a story about a boy called Pip.

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Introduction

Great Expectations 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens is much more than just a story about a boy called Pip. Dickens makes it a story of self-knowledge and learning about life. We learn from Pip that wealth and prestige aren't everything in life. As Pip gains wealth he loses other things such as his close relationship with his brother in law Joe and his self-respect. Through his experiences he becomes a stronger character, he learns what being a true gentleman is really about and he learns life's true values. Dickens uses his book to make social comment, as he used to be a reporter. He tells us both lower and higher classes have their corruption and evil. Through Pip we see that Dickens is trying to say he sees individuals like pawns in a chess game, influenced by their background and the power of others. At the beginning of the book Pip was very kind hearted. We know this because when he was talking to the convict he said, "I think you've got the ague" even though he was threatening to kill him. Pip is also a very gullible young boy because when Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

The decaying table in her house represents the decay in her life. Her life that stopped the day she was rejected, and decay in society, this is exploitation of poor. Like the rich land owners who bully and manipulate the poor she takes Pip as a victim. When Pip first arrives in London, his first impressions aren't very good at all. He first sees London as a dark, dirty and dismal place. Pip thinks going to London is the beginning of his Great Expectations, however, this doesn't seem like a good start for him. The setting of London is a sign from Dickens that London isn't going to be much better than home. Pip sees the courthouse first were people are tortured and hanged, this isn't any better than the gibbots near Pip's house. The courts are is also a warning to Pip that London is a place of crime. As Pip describes London he says things such as, "A shameful place smeared with filth and fat" this tells us that Pip isn't very impressed. He also tells us that "I rubbed it off with all possible speed" which is a metaphor representing the fact that Pip should stay away from here. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Joe is leaving London he points out to Pip that we can find dignity in our own way, but Pip can't see this and thinks that everyone should want to try and be the kind of gentleman he is trying to be. Dickens makes us see that society expects us all to be ambitious like Pip but not necessarily. Joe also says to Pip "life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, one man's a blacksmith, and one's a whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith." This is a metaphor to represent the fact that not everyone wants the same thing and we can find dignity in our own way. Most of this book seems depressing, but there is hope at the end. Pip has learned about life and its qualities. At the end there is hope that Pip may marry Estella. Joe and Biddy are happily married. Joe deserved this because throughout the book Joe was an honest character; this represents the ideology that good overcomes evil. Miss Havisham's is lost and Estella seems to be beginning to be able to love. Pip rejects the city life and returns to a close relationship with Joe. Joe and Biddy who have positive characteristics all the way through are received by happiness. ...read more.

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